Needless to say, the combination of Christmas / The Holidays / Hanukkah or whatever your festive celebration and an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia can be a nightmare. No, not 'can be'; it IS a nightmare. I know. I've been there, done it. I've watched my son starve himself in the run up to "all that food" and then meticulously check how much he ate on Christmas Day, counting calories to ensure he didn't 'overdo it'. I've watched him eat a little too much and then punish himself afterwards for being "greedy" and "binging". I've been on Serious Red Alert in the knowledge that the slightest thing could result in banging, crashing, yelling, moaning and slamming his head against the wall.
I've pretended to my guests that all is perfectly OK while knowing perfectly well that earlier in the day I was balling my eyes out. I've acted as the perfect host, cooking the Christmas Dinner on a kind of Red Alert / Numb Autopilot and then gone through the motions of eating it while being painfully aware that my son was picking at things or avoiding stuff. And I've pretended to enjoy all the present opening and other festivities throughout the Big Day when all I wanted to do was to curl up in a ball under my duvet and weep.
So I truly feel for other families who are approaching Christmas Day on Sunday with fear and heart-break. I really do, which is why I am blogging today.
I wish I had a magic solution, but I hope that it's just helpful to know that you are not alone, that others have 'been there, done it' and - most importantly - got through it in the end.
I've been searching through Dr Julie O'Toole's very excellent Kartini Clinic blog for posts on surviving Christmas / The Holidays / Hanukkah / New Year with an eating disorder in the family and have pasted in some links below which you might find helpful.
Game Plan For The Holidays
Christmas and a New Year
Anorexia Nervosa meets Thanksgiving: It’s A Mess